Category Archives: Craftsmas 2011

Teacher Wreath – Craftsmas 2011 Project 3

I had a hard time deciding what to get my lovely sister-in-law, Emily, for Christmas. It ranged from something to do with crochet (she crochets, I knit, we are both extremely challenged in the others’ craft) to a Fiestaware butter dish (something she mentioned wanting). I even tried to find their wedding registry (she got married in July) to buy something they didn’t get, but they were nowhere to be found. Then I thought of a cute project my mom made for my teacher cousin Amanda – a wreath decorated with school supplies.

First step: Fluff the wreath

Emily teaches preschool right now, so I went with pretty basic stuff. Crayons, erasers, pencils. This could easily be adapted for someone who teaches another subject. Paint brushes and pastels for an art teacher, sheet music for the band director, etc.

I started out with a blank wreath from Wal-Mart. I decided I wanted to put a tiny chalkboard on it with her name, and searched high and low for one. In the end, I didn’t find a tiny chalkboard, but realized that I already had all the makings for one. I used a piece of black cardstock, outlined it in popsicle sticks and wrote her name on it with a white out pen (Ok. Mom wrote it.)

Then we just started laying the school supplies on the wreath. When we were happy with the placement, we secured them with copious amounts of hot glue.

 

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Shhh…

It may seem I have fallen off of my craft horse, but fear not! There are projects in progress, but they are going to be Christmas gifts, so I’ve got to keep them on the down low until they have been gifted!

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Illumination – Craftsmas 2011 Project 1

I have had my eyes open for some new lampshades or lamps for our bedroom for a while. We had one nice lamp and one lamp that was originally designed (by me) to be plugged into an outlet controlled by a light switch. There aren’t any of those in our room, so it was kind of awkward and the shade was always messed up.

I decided to do some lamp shade shopping on Black Friday, because, honestly, I feel like most places want an arm and a leg for a lamp shade. It’s not uncommon to find a lampshade I like at Kohl’s or JcPenney’s website and the price tag is a whopping $45. For one. That kind of price is just not in the budget, so I decided, on a whim, to check on Lowe’s website, and hallelujah. They had several shades that I loved, that matched my room and that were in my budget, at $12 and $15 apiece. It said they had some in stock at the Lowe’s that is conveniently one block from my house, so I hit the showers and headed out. They had both shades I particularly liked, but they were drastically different sizes (something that is hard to know when looking at a website.) I threw both in my cart and hit the spray paint aisle. If I was going to buy these shades, why not go all the way? While I wasn’t opposed to the mismatched look, I happened to have two matched lamps anyway.

If these look familiar, it’s because they once upon a time lived in my mom’s living room.

The shade I bought didn’t need a harp (the wire thing that holds up a lampshade), so I took those off and threw them away. Could I have kept them, just in case I ever needed them again? Yes. Do I need to do that? No. Probably won’t need them, and if I do I can just buy some new ones.

I gave the lamps a good dusting and then took a piece of sandpaper to them, just to rough the surface up a bit for the spray paint (per the spray paint can’s request.) Two quick coats later, and I had these lovely little lamps.

Per the spray paint can’s request, I let them sit for about an hour (the can only wanted 45 minutes, but I wanted to appease it so I gave it a little bit of extra time in the garage). They were dry to the touch, so I moved them to the porch and the Great Lampshade Decision began.

I loved this pattern, and kind of liked the slim look they gave the lamps:

But wondered if they were big enough.

Looks like a no. See how the light bulb sticks above the shade? I thought about getting a smaller bulb, but they are our reading lamps and I wanted to make sure they were plenty bright.

Bigger shades! I didn’t like these quite as much, but as much as I tried to believe otherwise, the other ones were too small.

The finished product

Color close up

New old reading lamps

Maybe that’s too many photos for a simple spray paint job, but I was pretty proud of them.

Total time: 3 hours (includes trip to Lowe’s, sanding, spray painting and dry-to-the-touch time. For good measure I let them sit on the porch for about 12 hours, but it was only 3 hours of being engaged in the project.)

Total costs:

Spray paint: about $6

Shades: $15 apiece

Already had the lightbulbs and sandpaper.

 

(I didn’t find this on pinterest, though I imagine there are similar upgrades)

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